I’m at an event, and for 99.9% of the time, my thoughts are on-topic or only immediately tangential.
But there’s a single split second where I zone out, seeing a middle-aged woman a few rows ahead of me.
She takes the second to last swig of her beer and as she lowers the bottle, she reaches up to tuck her hair behind her ear.
Drinking beer from a bottle reminds her of all the other times she’s drank beer from a bottle, all of which already reminded her of all the times before that, which all take her back to the first times and remind her of when she was young. She’s at a conference sitting in a sea of pressed khaki, but when she takes this sip of beer she feels that nostalgic uncertainty and excitement again; feels something that reminds her of youth.
And so gingerly tucks her hair behind her ear.